70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

 By: Ann Kunz

Today we thought we would share some interesting facts about the much-loved octopus.  When compared to octopi, humans fall short in so many areas.

Of all the interesting facts probably the most interesting is the comparison between their protein-coding genes and our protein-coding genes.  Octopi have 33,000 and we mere humans have only around 22,000.

They have three hearts, two of which pump blood through their gills whilst the third pumps blood through the rest of their bodies.  We only have one heart.

Their eyesight is much better than ours as is their sense of touch.   Not only do these cool critters have eight powerful arms in comparison to our four “limbs” but if they lose one of their arms the lost arm will regenerate.  Wouldn’t this be wonderful!

Whilst we rely on one central brain octopi have decentralised brains. Their arms have a mind of their own as two-thirds of their neurons reside in their arms and not their heads like ours. One of their arms could be problem solving how to open a shellfish whilst their other arms are doing something completely different. Much like some humans, octopi enjoy eating crabs, shrimps and lobsters.

Some humans do change colour slightly when they are angry or embarrassed. Octopi can not only change colour to suit their mood or surroundings but also the texture of their skin.

For more information on cephalopods please click the link below which will take you to a downloadable cephalopod fact sheet.

More info on cephalopods.